The practice of customer relationship management (CRM) in five small enterprises in Co. Leitrim
The objective of this research dissertation was to study the literature on customer relationship management in order to determine whether what the theorists were saying in the literature was actually in practice in small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of Ireland today. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an application used by numerous companies to allow them to monitor customer behaviour, needs and wants. This in turn will develop into stronger relationships with the aid of technology. However, this may work effectively in some companies but some of the smaller businesses are not aware of the benefit of CRM and how to use it to its full potential for both the customer and the company. For the purpose of this dissertation the author decided to concentrate on five small organisations in the North West of Ireland to investigate if CRM was practised in smaller companies. It was also to give an insight into the main drivers of CRM and to uncover if these firms were using CRM to its full potential. In preparation for the primary stage, an inclusive literature review was conducted to provide a background on the topic of CRM. Questions emerged from this research which was then used to explore the topic at organisation level. Qualitative research was carried out in the form of in-depth personal interviews with all five companies. Overall, it is evident that the practice of CRM by small and medium enterprises in the Leitrim area is not comparable to what has being demonstrated in the literature. There is a definite lack of knowledge for companies in this area. Government agencies such as Enterprise Ireland have not provided sufficient information and support for these companies. This has contributed to the lack of understanding and progression level of CRM for them as a result. There are definite missed opportunities as a result, which will affect the long term relationships and succession of these organisations researched.
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